Allie Yazel grew up in Crystal Lake, a Northwest suburb of Chicago. As a child, she had a natural attraction to art and music, winning several writing awards and participating in musical theater all throughout middle school. Allie also played travel soccer and life guarded at the local lake she grew up swimming in. (Yes Crystal Lake, no, not like Friday the 13th.)
It wasn’t until High School that she picked up a camera. Allie would spend her lunch period in the dark room developing film. After spending her senior year in the Photo Department, she decided to enroll in the Photojournalism Program at Columbia College Chicago. She spent the summer before college, interning in Graphic Design and Strategy at her Aunt’s Marketing Agency.
Allie spent two years in the Photo Program. Her favorite course was Documentary Photography because she loved interacting and interviewing people. As a junior she transitioned into Advertising with a concentration in Account Management and Copy-writing. She felt advertising would allow her to write and manage a team of creatives. It was her dream to travel and work for National Geographic. Her last year at Columbia included a semester abroad studying International Business in Barcelona and a two week travel writing course in the Marin Headlands, California before graduating.
Allie says her time in Barcelona forever changed her perspective and made her a better human. She visited historic cities like FIgueras where Salvador Dali grew up, the islands of Greece, the catacombs in the city of Paris, Chefchaouen the Blue City in Morocco, and met an array of eclectic people. Growing up in the Midwest and never leaving the country before this, she did not have a gauge on just how different other cultures were. She was now addicted to the unknown and exploring new places.